Superintendent to Give Speech at Gathering for Mexico's President - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Superintendent to Give Speech at Gathering for Mexico's President

YAKIMA, Wa - While Vicente Fox is here in Yakima, one local leader will be waiting for him to arrive in Seattle. Superintendent of Yakima Schools Ben Soria has been asked to give a speech on education at a gathering for the Mexican president tomorrow night (Wednesday).

Soria says he's been practicing his speech whenever he has a private moment. "Even in the bathroom," he says. 

Soria will speak at a gathering for Mexican President Vicente Fox tomorrow night at the Westin Hotel in Seattle.  Soria says he was asked to do the speech about three weeks ago.  He'll talk for about ten minutes on a subject he's very familiar with.  "Education of children has to be the highest priority in the world.  It matter not whether kids are from Mexico or China," says Soria. 

This is a special opportunity for Soria who immigrated to the United States from Mexico when he was nine years old.  "Immigrated... legally I might to the state of Kansas in 1950," he said.

Soria has never met Vicente Fox, but last year he helped establish an innovative education program called The Portal Program here in Washington with the Mexican government. 

Soria says Fox's visit to Yakima will connect the Valley to Mexico in a symbolic way. "It represents an opportunity for both the country and the state of Washington to forge a relationship with the Mexican government.  We economic and human ties between the two of us."

Soria says, for security reasons, he has to leave for Seattle early tomorrow afternoon, so he will not be here when Fox arrives in Yakima.